Lord John Stephens Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement  

Mrs Shahnaz Anwar-Bleem 
Headteacher, Iqra Academy, Bradford 
Nominated by: Coser Ahmed 
A creative curriculum has been developed at Iqra Academy by Mrs Anwar-Bleem. The headteacher has supported staff to create topics which incorporate skills from across the curriculum, also helping to develop a rigorous monitoring system to ensure pupils progress in these areas. 
 
Nominating Mrs Anwar-Bleem for this award, Coser Ahmed, a colleague at the school told the Community Education Awards: “In 2000, Iqra (formally Drummond Middle School) opened as a primary school and was sadly devastated by an arson attack in 2001. Despite this, the school has thrived due to the outstanding dedication of its headteacher. When the fire happened, she was a tower of strength for pupils, staff and parents and led them through the difficult times of using temporary cabins in different locations until 2005 when the school building was finally restored and the school began to flourish. 
 
“Following on from this, Mrs Anwar-Bleem worked determinedly to develop a team of ‘Outstanding’ teachers who were awarded this grade following and Ofsted inspection in 2011. When Ofsted last visited they remarked that the systems in place to ensure high levels of pupils’ progress were consistent and relentless and that no stone was left unturned. Mrs Anwar-Bleem also seeks quality assurance from outside agencies who come into school and provide the leadership team and other staff with feedback on the school’s performance. She has also developed relationships with other outstanding schools and coordinated cross moderation events to further improve outcomes for pupils.” 
 
Mrs Anwar-Bleem was accredited as a national leader for education in July 2011 by The National College and the school became a National Support School. Under her leadership, the school has also won a host of acclaimed awards including ‘Outstanding Primary School of the Year’ in 2012 by the TES, ‘Outstanding Progress Award’ from the Education Business Awards and the school has been endorsed for its provision with the ICT mark, basic skills quality mark and the active mark. 
 
In September this year, Mrs Anwar-Bleem will open a new unit in school for two year olds which will allow children in the local area access to structured play and opportunities for language development, giving them a head start for when they enter primary school. 
 
In describing why Mrs Anwar-Bleem should win this award, Coser stated: “She is an outstanding leader and tireless in her pursuit of excellence and has very high standards of pupils and staff alike.” 
 
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